Sunday, September 2, 2007


I first experienced Chacon in "La Bodeguita Del Medio" in 1996. He would play his "tambor" and sing a rap just whatever came to he would sing and play his tambor he would frequently slap his head in ritmo...notice that he is covered in tattoos...his entire body...from head to toe was covered in tattoos...even the inside of his bottom lip.
One day I found him at home in a small shack on a hillside in Casablanca...a small village across the Bahia De most Cubans he invited me into his home and proudly stated "mi casa es su casa" made me some coffee...and sang...his home was electricity...dirt windows...I felt at peace.
He sits at the feet of the Santera Saints playing his "tambor".
He passed away in 2003...truly missed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was probably 10-years old when I first sighted Chacón seating on the seawall of Avenida del Puerto, right across from Havana Club. Back then he was still a strong muscular man, wearing his several necklaces, copper wristlets, earrings, and strange-looking rings. His shaved head exhibited an octopus that did outstand all other tattoos on his body.

As I grew up, I got accustomed to seeing him as part of the Havanian landscape who very seldom talked. Just as Caballero de Paris, Chacón was an enigmatic personality.

The only time I heard him say something was one day when a group of us during our youth days were playing at pushing one another to the dirty waters of the bay: He yelled at us to stop and best go home.

It was only and probably due to his older years when he became talkative and friendly. Chacón was a silent, yet a notorious figure in Havana. For many, his origin remains a mystery. There are numerous rumors that he served time for a crime he did not commit and that may have contributed to his life of isolation within the society; a type of self-imposed life of solitude. Those who knew him best from Regla and Casa Blanca know that he was someone not to be recon with and that he was respected amongst the street-wise men and top Abakuas in Havana. Many even feared him.

His history goes deeper than a picture in his hut. There must be others who must have captured him as part of the Havana scenery and I encourage them to post those to enrich his history.

Gilberto Acevedo
Webster University